High school football: Marcum, Logan on a mission to earn respect
WINFIELD, W.Va. -- What's in a name?
In terms of West Virginia high school football, plenty. Few know this better than Logan senior quarterback Chris Marcum.
"A lot of people look down on us, you know, because honestly...it's Logan," the 6-foot-4, 210-pound quarterback said after throwing for a career-high 335 yards and four touchdowns Friday night in a 38-28 win at Winfield.
"People are like, 'Yeah, it's Logan,' " Marcum said. "I hope they take a little bit of respect out of it and think more highly of us."
There was a weight to Marcum's words that showed an understanding of reality. Logan is a basketball school. It always has been a basketball school, and - unless trends take a drastic and unexpected turn for the different - will always be a basketball school.
Logan has seven basketball state championships, the most recent of which came in 2010.
The school's football history is less gleaming. The Wildcats are winless in five football playoff appearances in school history.
Furthermore, Logan's geographical location - 58 miles from Charleston, 70 miles from Huntington and 70 miles from Beckley - leaves any non-basketball sports development emanating from the school low on the priority list for its nearest of the state's larger media centers.
Marcum spoke without animosity about the lack of attention his team has thus far received in 2012. His tone was much more an admission of fact rather than a complaint.
He spoke with the sense of a mission not yet accomplished.
With a second consecutive 5-1 start to a football season, however, it's getting more difficult to deny Logan as a football program to be reckoned with. The Wildcats finished 8-3 in 2011, losing at home in the first round of the Class AAA playoffs to Parkersburg South.
Marcum missed most of last season with a knee injury he sustained in the second game of year. His return to action has seen him complete 58-of-104 passes this season for 1,173 yards, 11 touchdowns and two interceptions.
In beating Winfield (2-4), the Wildcats sparked enough attention statewide to make their first appearance in the Daily Mail Class AAA poll this season. They made their debut at No. 8.
"We've got some great players down in Logan," Wildcats Coach Gary Mullins said. "People just don't get the chance to see them a lot of times, but they play hard, and I'm proud of 'em. We're starting to win some football games and trying to build a football program."
Marcum connected for touchdowns of 7, 87, 30 and 2 yards.
"It really surprised me, especially how the field is - muddy and wet and stuff," Marcum said of his team's success in throwing the ball a season-high 29 times.
"We went to the air a lot. I practice throwing a wet ball a lot, though. We practice in the rain all the time, so that helped me out today."
Logan has remaining games against No. 6 Huntington (4-1), Class AA Mingo Central (3-2), at Hurricane (3-2) and at Class AA No. 5 Scott (6-0). Mullins said there is plenty of room for improvement before the Wildcats hope to make a third consecutive trip to the playoffs.
The team lost four of six fumbles in the win.
"We have to decide if we're going to man up and play some football," Mullins said. "We're not beating some of the teams we play down the stretch doing that."
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FOR THE second consecutive week an area team resurrected its playoff hopes with a three-point win over Capital (3-2).
Hurricane, which had lost back-to-back games to Beckley (4-2) and Class AAA No. 3 George Washington (4-1), came back from a bye week and held the Cougars to 4 total yards in the first half en route to a 23-20 win. Junior quarterback Austin Hensley's 1-yard run with 9 seconds left gave Hurricane the win after Capital had taken a 20-16 lead in the fourth quarter.
The Redskins (3-2) still have games remaining against No. 7 Spring Valley (3-2), No. 8 Logan (5-1) and play their season finale at top-ranked Cabell Midland (6-0). They host Ripley (3-3) on Friday and travel to Greenbrier East (1-5) on Oct. 12.
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KEN HAYNES helped rescue South Charleston from a potentially bleak situation in a 35-14 win against St. Albans.
Haynes ran for 111 yards and two touchdowns, and scored on an 80-yard run to salt away the win Friday night to get the Black Eagles (3-3) to the .500 mark for the first time since Aug. 31.
South Charleston lost sophomore A.D. Cunningham - the team's leading rusher through five games - for the season last week after he sustained a separated shoulder against Capital.
Haynes' performance was the first 100-yard rushing night of the year for SC.
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ST. ALBANS dropped to 0-6 with its loss to South Charleston. The Red Dragons, who have lost 10 in a row, are on pace to give up 445 points this season. The current school record for points allowed in a season is 417, given up by the 2001 team coached by Bart Hillenbrand. That team finished 1-9.
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WYOMING EAST and Petersburg made their debuts in the Daily Mail Class AA poll this week. The No. 8 Warriors (4-2) and No. 8 Vikings (5-1) became the 19th and 20th teams to be ranked in the top 10 at least once this season.
There are 40 schools in Class AA.